Pakistan News Service

Wednesday Oct 16, 2019, Safar 16, 1441 Hijri

Hurricane Katrina

14 September, 2005

By Ahmer Muzammil

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O.C (Orange County) is a beautiful coastal town in California. It is one of the most affluent communities of America. I was watching this program on MTV and they were showing a feature on a birthday party of a 16-year-old girl from O.C on which her father spent about 200,000 dollars. On one damn birthday, 200,000 dollars and that’s probably not even the most extravagant Birthday party in that town. As with any other rich communities of America, most of the residents of O.C are white.

But let me categorically say that this is not about white, black or brown. This is about the "Have’s" and the "Have Not’s", if this "Katrina" catastrophe had hit any influential town of America, I can assure you without a shadow of a doubt that it would not have taken 5 days for them to receive a bottle of water from the richest government on the face of this earth. I am at a loss of words at how barbaric, inhumane and inconsiderate the response of the American government has been towards their own citizens.

A poor country like Bangladesh responds to floods and comes to the aid for its citizens better than the only super power of the world. Someone needs to tell Cheney and Rumi that New Orleans is not a town in the Middle East somewhere. It use to be that the politicians would at least shed crocodile tears for the sake of political correctness, but I guess even that fake decency is too much of a burden for these parasites. Give them credit for not being hypocrite at least.

For the past 2 weeks we have seen the horror stories emanating from Gulf coast. There are unconfirmed reports of 10,000 casualties. Analyst and relief workers on ground claim that the figure would be much higher once the water recedes. There are one million so called "Refugees" in their own country. I swear the terms that American establishment come up with are a true hallmark of their cold and cunning personalities. Consider "shock & awe" as another example. The monetary cost for this disaster is estimated at 150 billion dollars. The war critics are asking a valid question that this inability of the American government to address this calamity in a timely manner is due to the "worthy conflicts" that they are involved in all over the world. Consider this, George W. Bush just last year turned down a budget proposal to strengthen the levies that gave away and resulted in the lives of 10,000 people and devastation of millions. However when the same administration is asked that it rub salt to the wound when you have million dollar dancing-balls in celebration of the election victories, while troops in Iraq are deprived of bullet proof waists due to budget restraints. Their response, that’s what the troops are fighting for, the American way of life. Come Again? The troops are putting their lives in danger so the president and his cronies can throw a million-dollar party? Are you kidding? How do they know? Did they had some kind of a survey where they told the American soldiers in Iraq that the reason you are putting your life in danger and your family’s livelihood in jeopardy is because we in the Washington can throw "Wicked Parties". I truly doubt it.

I also believe that American-Muslim community should rise to the occasion and help their countrymen and women in this time of need. We have adopted America as our home by choice and it is our religious and moral duty to lend a helping hand in this horrific disaster. I am pleased to hear that ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) along with other Muslim organizations have pledged to give 10 million dollars to help out in this t ime of need. So I hope the Rush Limbaugh’s and Michael Savage’s and Pat Robertson’s of the world would at least not call for all the Muslims of states to be kicked out anymore. Who am I kidding; they’ll probably find a negative angle in this as well. Once a bigot, always a bigot.

There is a widespread belief among the rest of the world especially in Pakistan that the only way you can reach the top in America is if you have real talent and experience in a relevant field. FEMA is the primary agency responsible for addressing and dealing with emergency catastrophes. You would think that the person who would be appointed as the head of this organization would be someone who would have some experience in dealing with emergencies. You would be wrong. Wrap your mind around this little nugget now; the Director of FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) primarily has 2 qualifications that landed him this high profile job.

1. He is a very close friend of the Bush’s

2. He used to be a Horse-Judge.

You might think I am joking but this guy literally judged horses for living before becoming the Director of one of the most important relief agencies of America. What does judging Horses has to do with FEMA? Your guess is as good as mine. The morale of the story? You could never go wrong with being friends with the Bush’s.


Reader Comments:

Excellent article, this just proves how Bush is the biggest jackass of this century

NomAN, Ukraine - 15 September, 2005

Hurricane Katrina

The great OC where I live is not predominately white! OC is primarily Hispanic, then white, black, Asian and others. Otherwise, I agree with you- and yes If a hurricane did hit Newport Beach, they wouldn't have to wait 5 days for water. BUT I Probably would, since I am in Costa Mesa and don't have any rich republican friends. It's disgusting and immoral what our government has done.

E. summers, United Kingdom - 15 September, 2005


I am sorry if you misunderstood but the show the "OC" isn't for real. It is a drama. The show has writers who sit in some room somewhere to decide what will happen on the show. And then they get actors to act the scenes. It's kind of like a play. By the way, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is fiction as well. California cities aren't full of the undead and one teenage girl and her friends to fight them. Now Baywatch, that's real(just kidding).

Alex, United Kingdom - 16 September, 2005

Tell the Whole Truth

While your comments are obviously very passionate, true journalism points out both angles. How about the surrounding States taking in those that have lost everything? How about the billion dollars in private donations that have come in for relief, not to mention the millions upon millions of items of food, clothes, water, and shelter that has been provided? What about all of the surrounding high schools and universities in the adjoining States that have opened their doors to the affected students? The federal response or the alleged slow response has very little to do with this. Like him or hate him, how can any rational person blame President Bush for this catastrophe? For well over a century it has been well documented that if a major hurricane were to ever hit New Orleans, it would completely flood. Well, dozens of Presidents, Congress', State Governments, Governors, State Legislators, and Mayors have never done anything to help the sitution in over 100 years of warnings, so how is it now all of a sudden President Bush's fault? Come on, take a step back and actually think about it.

B.M., United Kingdom - 16 September, 2005

Self Sufficency is the Key

What Katrina shows is the folly in depending upon government, any government for your survival. Ultimately that responsibility falls upon the individual. I have learned about what to expect in disasters and the literature has always said that you need to have enough supplies to survive 5 days before you can expect help to arrive. And indeed, that is how long it took.

People were warned beforehand in the strongest terms possible about the hurricane. They could have fled the storm before it hit, but they stayed.

What you need to understand is that for generations people in New Orleans have been taught to depend on government instead of themselves to substain their lives. Just get your welfare check handed to you and spend the rest of the month watching Oprah and Jerry Springer and everything will be ok. All of the sudden through government was taken away from them and they didn't know what to do. They didn't have the personal reliance to fall back on because they have always been taught to depend on others instead of depending upon themselves.

I think this is a lesson to all of us, regardless of the culture we come from or the country we pledge alligence to. Never depend on your government for your survival. That is up to you. Try to be as self sufficient as possible so you can fulfill your responsibility to yourself and those who depend on you. Ultimately no government no charity can protect you when things get very bad. If you live by dependence, you die by dependence. Dependence takes the choices you might need to survive out of your hands putting you at the mercy of forces beyond your personal control.

Jeff, United Kingdom - 17 September, 2005

Where did the money go?

You mentioned a birthday party of a 16-year-old girl from O.C on which her father spent about $200,000.

For girls in American society the 16th Birthday is a very important one. They call it sweet 16 and it represents the acknowledgement that the little girl is becoming a woman now and it will not be long before she moves away from home. This is probably more true in earlier times when people got married much earlier but the tradition still remains.

Especially for more upper class families it is known as a "coming out" party where they family presents the girl to society as a sign that she is old enough for young men to start wooeing her. So as they present her to the society at large the main purpose is to present her to possible husbands. So obviously the family wants to present the young lady to society in the best light possible.

So this isn't just an average birthday. It is a very significant moment in a woman's life. Only her wedding and birh of her children would be more significant to her than her sweet 16 coming out party.

But my main question is where did the $200,000 go? The answer of course is to the people who supplied goods and services for the party. The caters, the people who provided the food, the decorations, probably a band.

And what do they do with that money. Well they use the money to make their business grow, to provide for their families. And as they become more prosperous they are able to provide more jobs for others to provide for their families as well.

So in end this party doesn't only help one young lady to have a memorable experience. It helps many businesses grow and prosper helping other families to grow stronger.

Gene, United Kingdom - 17 September, 2005

Hurricane Katrina evacuation and rescue was a tremendous success.

Contrary to what you might have heard the evacuation of New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina hit the historic city and the rescue effort afterwards was a tremendous success.

A million or more residents of the city evacuated before the hurricane hit. Can you imagine, almost all the population of a major city leaves. This is an effort unmatched in magnitude. To move almost an entire population of a city is something I daresay close to a miracle.

And during the hurricane the city provide as a refuge of last resort (they always called it that and never said it was going to be an ideal refuge) a major facility that protected tens of thousands. Practically a small town of people found refuge. Conditions within there were by all accounts horrendous but again, it was a refuge of last resort that saved the lives of thousands of people. This too was an effort unparalleled in magnitude.

And the rescue efforts were indeed timely. If you read through any information put out by FEMA, the Red Cross, or any other source it says that after a disaster one needs enough food and water to last at least five days as that is how long it is expected it will take until help would arrive. And indeed rescue for most did come after five days. That rescue effort saved thousands of people.

The estimates of the dead, while first in the hundreds of thousands, is dropping tremendously daily. We are finding out that it really wasn't as bad as we had feared and in the end the deaths will more like in the thousands instead of the hundreds of thousands once predicted.

I would say that you can point to few if any evacuations and rescues on such scale in the history of the world that have been as successful as what happened in New Orleans. Personally none comes to my mind.

But, you say, how can you call it a success? Everyone in America has called it a terrible failure. Even the President admits that it was a terrible failure. And as an American I would have to agree with him.

Wait, you would say. You just said how successful it all was and now you do a turnabout and say it was a failure. How can you do that?

Well, by world's standards, it was a tremendous success, but America has never judged itself by world's standards. We have always held ourselves to a higher standard.

We certainly could have done better. We had at least three days warning to prepare. Our response could have been quicker. Local and state government should have taken into account several things that they didn't and should have used the plans they did have in place to react more effectively.

This hurricane will give us the momentum needed to get us better prepared. We will come out stronger because of it.

I guess the point is even at our worst we are better than the rest. What to us is a failure would have been to the rest of the world an incredible achievement. And as a result of this hurricane that has pointed out some areas where we can still be even better we will be even stronger than before.

God Bless America! God has presented us with this hurricane not as a punishment but as a gift. As a way to strengthen us for what lies ahead of us.

., United Kingdom - 19 September, 2005

Three Cheers Ahmer

You are saying it like it is Ahmer. Three cheers and keep it up.

Do not be distracted by the sick outpouring of paid patsies forever in the service of their equally sick masters. Keep up the good work.

Speak the truth and keep on coming. That is what scares them the most.

Anwaar Hussain

Anwaar Hussain, Ukraine - 21 September, 2005

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